Tulipshare is a brand new activist investment platform that empowers individuals to make a positive change within some of the biggest household-name companies in the world like Apple, Amazon and Coca-Cola. Launched in the UK in July 2021, the platform enables people to rethink the way they invest in businesses. Essentially allowing people to vote with their money, Tulipshare endeavours to play a tangible role in promoting ethical change in the boardrooms of global companies.
The platform’s first causes include workers’ rights at Amazon, a focus on Coca-Cola’s contribution to climate change in the company’s plastic consumption, and right to repair issues at Apple. New causes will regularly be added to the platform for budding activists to begin fighting for change via the purchasing of shares.
To date, Tulipshare has raised $1M in pre-seed funding from Speedinvest and high profile business angels. The platform has already been regulated in the UK by the Financial Conduct Authority since April 2021 and is looking to expand to the US market.
I caught up with Founder and CEO Antoine Argouges to find out more about this ground-breaking approach to shareholder activism.
Afdhel Aziz: Antoine, welcome. Please tell us about Tulipshare and how it works?
Antoine Argouges: Tulipshare is a unique activist investment platform that allows investors to coalesce around important causes and use their shareholder rights to drive positive change. We are the first broker to combine shareholder activism with online brokerage.
You can join the platform and invest by selecting a campaign you are interested in, such as pushing for Coca-Cola to use 100% recycled materials in its packaging, and buy shares in the company with the knowledge that your shareholder rights will be used to push this cause with the company directly. For the first time, your voice will combine with other like minded voices to drive change.
Aziz: How did the idea come about and what has been the take-up so far? Can anyone in the world invest via the platform?
Argouges: If you look around and ask all your friends and family who have previously bought shares or made investments, very few would have ever voted on a shareholder resolution. Most people, due to no fault of their own, do not know that every share has shareholder rights attached to it. When those shareholder rights are utilized in the right way – they can be used to drive change in a company.
Only $25,000 worth of stock held for over 1 year is needed to be able to submit a shareholder proposal in the US. While shareholder proposals have been utilised for years by large institutional players, there’s been a lack of public awareness about shareholder rights more widely and no real attempt to unify the voices of individual investors, also known as retail investors. This has left corporate strategy almost exclusively in the hands of boards and large institutional players. This must change, which is why I have launched Tulipshare.
We are seeing a very good uptake on the platform since launching. Our average deposit value is currently around $234 and we are predicting over 100,000 investors to join the platform by next year. We are welcoming users from around the world to join the movement, but only UK residents are able to trade on the platform for the time being. We are actively working to obtain our broker-dealer license in the US and EU in the next 12 months. Our campaigns are cumulative and every new country opening for us will only strengthen our voice.
Aziz: Please tell us about some of the campaigns you are currently running and how you chose them? Do you feel in future your customers can also propose companies and campaigns?
Argouges: There are currently three campaigns live on the platform: changing Coca-Cola’s packaging policy to use 100% recycled materials, ensuring fair and safe working environments for Amazon warehouse workers, and allowing independent and third-party technicians to repair Apple products.
We selected these campaigns for their global impact and their capacity to improve our lives, and to make the planet a better place. For the first time, a unified group of retail investors will be purposefully supporting strategic change in these companies. This is a unique message we want to send to boards of directors and executive teams alike – they can rely on us to engage with them and push for change.
For future campaigns, we are building a user-generated activism tool where the Tulipshare community will be able to suggest ideas themselves and mobilise change on topics that are important to them.
Aziz: Do you think GenZ will be receptive to the idea of buying stocks to influence company decisions, just as much as protesting in the streets?
Argouges: I certainly think GenZ will be receptive to the idea of buying stocks to influence company decisions. They have been trying to influence their future for years now with limited impact, which can of course be demoralising. Protesting and voting is still on their radar, but now they have another option that we have engineered for them: the ability to engage companies through their investments and have the potential to make a real difference at the top.
93% of the population do not hold shares. The commission-free brokers and impact investment firms out there, I believe, need to do a greater job at convincing younger retail investors to influence company decisions.
Tulipshare’s unique position to unify investors and give them a voice to impact corporate policies is touching the heart of GenZ and every value-driven investor, from GenZ to Millennials to Boomers.
Aziz: Finally, it feels like we are in a new era of activist retail investors feeling like they can go up against the big institutional investors – especially after Gamestop. Is this fuelling interest, do you think?
Argouges: The Gamestop saga improved the financial literacy of millions of retail investors in just a couple of weeks. The tables had turned – retail investors were moving the market and which then got shut down. This situation has only shown how openly the system is skewed against retail investors, which plays nicely alongside our narrative of engineering a way for people to vote with their money and have their voice heard.
Investment App MAKMUR Raises Seven-Digit Seed Funding to Advance Features and People Development – Yahoo Finance
JAKARTA, Indonesia, Sept. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Indonesia-based investment app, MAKMUR, has secured a seven-digit seed funding round, led by BEENEXT, with participation from Kinesys Group, Trihill Capital, and notable angel investors including Yiping Goh (Quest Ventures’ partner), Edward Tirtanata (Kopi Kenangan’s CEO), Vidit Agrawal (GajiGesa’s CEO), and Andrew Lee (former unicorn executive). MAKMUR will use the capital to expand its features and product portfolio, as well as to hire new talented individuals and people development.
MAKMUR is a technology-based investment app that allows users to set their financial goals and reach them through long term investing. Similar to Betterment in the U.S., it has goal-based investing feature so users can easily invest towards multiple goals, such as emergency fund, retirement fund, and children’s education fund with the ease of using just one app.
The app also provides a Robo Advisory feature that adapts to users’ risk tolerance, as well as investment horizon, and prevailing economic conditions. This proprietary dynamic asset allocation technology helps users invest optimally regardless of whether the market is bullish or bearish.
Financial advisory are often available only for high-net worth investors. However, MAKMUR digitizes and democratizes such services to be completely accessible and affordable for all Indonesian citizens.
Sander Parawira, founder and CEO of MAKMUR, pointed out, “Many people think that investing in mutual funds is difficult, in which they have to go through a complicated account opening process and prepare a large amount of capital. Supported by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and face recognition technology, we offer an exceptional account opening experience that is simple and swift. It only takes five minutes to complete the account opening process, with an initial capital starting from IDR 10,000 (USD 0.70) and no transaction fee.”
Faiz Rahman, BEENEXT’s partner, added “We are witnessing a new revolution in Indonesia where mass market come to realize the importance of investing. MAKMUR enables retail investors to do prudent long-term investing to build wealth sustainably. We are very excited about MAKMUR and we look forward to having a long-term partnership with MAKMUR as we believe in their mission to make investing easier, cheaper, and more sustainable for Indonesians.”
MAKMUR App to help build a robust inclusive financial ecosystem in Indonesia
MAKMUR app is the brainchild of Sander Parawira, a Stanford University’s graduate, formerly the Head of Quantitative Strategies of Wall Street’ leading quantitative trading firm, Virtu Financial. Prior to Virtu, Sander was a Software Engineer at Facebook.
Sander built the app with the aim to improve financial literacy and inclusions among Indonesian citizens. “Indonesia’s capital market investor has experienced a significant growth, however, the number of investors today in Indonesia is still fewer than 2% of the population. Following the seed funding round, we are hoping to bridge the financial inclusion gap while improving financial literacy across the country.”
Ever since the company obtained official license from Otoritas Jasa Keuangan (OJK) in February 2021, it has partnered with ten leading investment managers. They include Avrist Asset Management, Bahana TCW Investment Management, BNI Asset Management, Capital Asset Management, Eastspring Investment, FWD Asset Management, Principal Asset Management, RHB Asset Management, Syailendra Capital, and Trimegah Asset Management.
MAKMUR app is available on both Play Store and App Store for Android users and iOS users respectively. For further information, please visit https://www.makmur.id
MAKMUR is a start-up that provides technology-based investment app to help Indonesians plan their financial goals and invest for the long term easily, safely, and sustainably. All investment plans are designed by experienced investment professionals based on quantitative research and big data. MAKMUR is established by a former Head of Quantitative Strategies at Virtu Financial, a leading quantitative trading firm in Wall Street and an ex Facebook Software Engineer. The team has a cumulative 30 years experience in the investment and technology space in reputable companies such as IndoPremier, Traveloka, and IBM and are graduates from the best universities in the world such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Columbia University, and Purdue University.
BEENEXT is a Venture Capital fund managed by serial entrepreneurs that focuses on assisting founders with its operational experience, network, trust, unique perspectives, and the capital. The team invests in early-stage tech start-ups that are focused on building the new digital platforms driven by the data network. BEENEXT aims to establish a platform of founders, by the founders and for the founders across the globe, primarily in South East Asia, India and Japan. Since its establishment in 2015, the team has invested in over 200 companies globally.
SOURCE PT Inovasi Finansial Teknologi (MAKMUR)
Big Pot wants millions in corporate investment — some lawmakers are happy to help – New York Post
Last year, we saw pro-pot lawmakers attempt to load up any and every COVID-19 aid bill with marijuana industry wish list items. Though none of those attempts proved successful, they are back at it again.
Last week, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) offered the SAFE Banking Act as an amendment to the annual military spending bill known as the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA. The NDAA is a must-enact defense spending bill that Congress has passed into law each year for 60 years in a row. Which renders Perlmutter’s move especially shady.
Outside of full, federal legalization, passing the SAFE Banking Act into law is the top priority of the marijuana industry. The bill would allow the industry access to the federal financial system, opening it up to take out loans, have FDIC-insured bank accounts and accept all major credit cards without having to resort to loopholes. But the real reason why this bill is so critically important to Big Pot is that it would finally allow pot companies access to institutional investment.
You see, there are currently billions of dollars sitting on the sidelines, waiting to be invested into the pot industry by major investment firms, hedge funds, pension systems and other major corporate interests. These interests, according to former House Speaker and pot advocate John Boehner, want to “dive head-first into cannabis.”
As it stands, the giants of Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol are deeply invested in the marijuana industry across our northern border in Canada. Altria, the maker of Marlboro cigarettes, invested $2 billion into Cronos, a Canadian weed company, while Constellation Brands, one of the largest alcohol conglomerates, pumped $245 million into another Canadian marijuana company, Canopy Growth.
But while these two giants of the addiction industry are unable to fully invest in American marijuana companies, their well-heeled lobbyists are working the halls of Congress, pushing for the SAFE Banking Act.
The most direct, immediate result of this bill would be billions of dollars in investment flowing into pot companies that can then be spent on research and development of new, highly potent products and new marketing campaigns that will further normalize marijuana use and result in more youths using the drug.
As an aside, don’t be fooled into thinking the pot industry is marketing the 5-percent-THC pot smoked in the 1960s and ’70s. Today’s marijuana regularly contains upwards of 30 percent THC — the main, psychoactive compound — in flower and 99 percent THC in concentrates such as dabs and vaping oils. This new, high-potency pot has been linked to a litany of serious mental-health issues, such as anxiety, depression, schizophrenia and psychosis.
The pot lobby has promulgated lie after lie to convince lawmakers to support this bill. They say they are forced to operate as a “cash-only” industry due to the lack of conventional banking access. This has repeatedly been shown to be false, as many marijuana dispensaries readily accept card payment. Furthermore, the pot lobby claims that its (false) status as “cash-only” makes dispensaries a prime target for robberies. While it’s true marijuana dispensaries are oftentimes robbed, many such robberies are not after cash that is locked away in a backroom safe, but the marijuana products on the shelves.
In short, the SAFE Banking Act is nothing more than the federal government signing off on corporate investment in the marijuana industry. And what’s worse, it could set the precedent for banking access to other industries that traffic in federally illegal substances. Former officials from the Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations have even warned this bill could grant cover for criminal cartels to engage in money laundering.
To the point at hand, marijuana-industry banking access has absolutely nothing to do with the funding of our military and other national-security operations; the inclusion of this amendment is just another example of the desperation of the marijuana industry. The American people should reject these shady tactics and put kids before the pot industry.
Kevin Sabet, a former three-time White House senior drug-policy adviser, is president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana and author of “Smokescreen: What the Marijuana Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know.”
Alibaba Nearing Investment in Singapore Unicorn Ninja Van – BNN
(Bloomberg) — Ninja Van, a Singaporean logistics startup, is set to raise about $580 million from investors including Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., according to people familiar with the matter.
Some of Ninja Van’s existing investors will also participate in the series E round, the people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private. Those include B Capital Group, the venture capital firm set up by Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin and Raj Ganguly, a former executive at Bain Capital, and European parcel delivery company Geopost/DPDgroup, the people said.
The new funding round will help lift the company’s valuation to well beyond $1 billion ahead of a potential initial public offering as early as next year, the people said.
Venture capital firm Monk’s Hill Ventures and Zamrud, an existing investor linked to a Southeast Asian sovereign wealth fund, are also participating in the round, the people said. Ninja Van plans to use the funds to better its infrastructure and technology, as it seeks to be cost efficient while improving the quality of its operations.
Representatives for Alibaba, B Capital, Geopost, Monk’s Hill Ventures couldn’t immediately be reached for comment by phone or email outside of normal business hours. A Ninja Van representative couldn’t immediately comment.
Investors are betting on transportation, logistics and warehouse companies amid a boom in e-commerce, one of the beneficiaries of the coronavirus pandemic.
Founded in 2014, Ninja Van operates in six markets in Southeast Asia and delivers close to 2 million parcels a day in the region, according to its website. It raised $279 million in a series D round last year where participants included ride-hailing firm Grab Holdings Inc.
Ninja Van’s clients include PT Tokopedia, which has merged with ride-hailing giant Gojek to create GoTo, Indonesia’s most valuable startup, Alibaba’s Lazada Group and Shopee, a unit of Singapore-based Sea Ltd. The logistics startup also works with global consumer groups such as Unilever Plc and with smaller shops.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
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